You Might Have a One Year Old if…
I type this with my eyes ablaze with the tiredness of 1000 mothers. Over the course of the past nearly 15-months life has undergone many changes and my psyche and physique have succumbed to the will and whim of a child. And the kicker is, I made him. It’s like Frankenstein’s Monster…have I learned nothing from fictional history?? I have learned lessons, felt regret, gave up, tried again, and all the while, been overwhelmed with love. And sometimes wine. With my first year of motherhood and a bit of loose skin under my belt, here are some of the many things I’ve discovered are new or different compared to the pre-baby life and all it’s splendor and rest and calm and quiet and sitting and sleep and going out with friends and doing things past 7 pm and traveling and everything that is good and pure. If you’ve experienced any or all of the following, you too may have or have had a one year old.
1) You understand what it means to have to clean the house in order to clean the house. Sure, I guess you could vacuum, mop, and dust without picking anything up. And I suppose you could just do the laundry that’s in the hamper rather than including the clothes on the floor. Come to think of it, those methods would take a lot less time. I might be on to something here.
2) You’ve cried yourself to sleep. And while awake. And also in the shower. And at work. Exhaustion, frustration, anger, sadness…I’d say joy or happiness, but let’s face it, that’s not why you’re crying – whatever the reason and whether it makes you feel better or not, the tears happen.
3) You now all but hate, but pretty much hate, your former “furbabies,” yet appreciate their garbage disposally ways at meal times when the floor is showered with food. Ain’t nobody got time to clean that shi*t up properly.
4) You dread the inevitable day when you can no longer watch whatever the hell you want at anytime. Always Sunny trumps Curious George any day, because toilet humor and potty mouths are funny when it’s not actually referring to anything in the potty-training arena. This goes hand-in-hand with dreading the day you can no longer cuss like a truck driver who moonlights as a sailor, was raised by Al Pacino, has Tourette Syndrome, and stubs his toe every few seconds.
5) You attempted your 1st vacation as a family and it made you wish for death. There’s no such thing as a family “vacation” with a 1-year old unless you’re travelling with a nanny or babysitter who has full charge of the baby at all times and it’s like the your little cherub isn’t even there. That doesn’t count as a family vacation. It’s smarter, better, and more enjoyable on exactly every single level, but a family vacation it is not.
6) You haven’t done your own nails or toenails in at least 6 months. You’re doing well if your nether regions are washed. Extra points if they’re somewhat groomed. A DIY mani/pedi is just crazy talk.
7) You are always running out of clean knives. All those perfectly balanced meals (HA!) you prepare for your kid have to be cut into dainty little bite-sized pieces so he can easily pick them up off the high chair tray and promptly chuck them at the floor or rub them into his hair.
8) You jinx yourself by even THINKING about saying something to someone about how well your kid has been sleeping. As much as this blows, I’m kind of behind it 100% if the someone you’re telling is also a parent. First of all, even if you don’t mean for your cute little story about Baby Snoozerson and his 12 hour night to sound like bragging, it does. And secondly, even if you don’t think the other parent is acting out a play in her head wherein she’s the town strangler and you’re the victim, she is. I’ve been on both ends of this conversation. One end made me wanna invent a time machine (ya know, with all the freaking free time and ability to focus I have these days) to go back and slip into a chastity belt. The other end made me feel like a cous for being “that” mom that I wanted to strangle a few months back – PLUS, it came back to bite me in the @ss when that very night my little spawn was up at 4 am.
9) These are the only type of cups you ever drink out of: I’m not sure but I’m pretty sure you don’t need anything else to survive.
10) You’ve called your kid a Son of a Bitch and immediately realize that he’s won yet again. He’s just insulted you without saying a d@mn thing. In fact, all mine ever says is “dada” – a constant reminder that he has no interest in ever calling me “mama.” After all, I’m just the help anyways.
11) You eat a lot of junk. Not only does parenthood make you emotional eat the entire pantry – period – but now there’s all sorts of good shi*t in there. Before I had to open a can of green beans or have spoons of peanut butter. Now there’s Ritz Bitz and animal crackers and Goldfish and vanilla wafers. Sure, you bought those Dum-Dums to be emergency distractions in the event of a boo-boo or must-take phone call, but really they’re for when you need a distraction from the baby carrots in the fridge.
12) You find yourself looking at pictures of your kid when he’s at day care, but you’re glad he’s at day care. Oh, remember the first day of day care? The sadness, the guilt, the worry? I cried on and off alllll day long and wondered what he was doing, if he was being good, if he missed me, if he pooped. Then, over time (like, the second day of day care), I be like YEEEEEAH, BUDDY, you have a good day, love – see ya! I catch myself looking at pictures on my phone or Facebook and that cute little face and those chubby little cheeks just get me. I smile and think to myself how I miss my little man, but at the same time I know d@mn well that boy wouldn’t be letting me get a d@mn thing accomplished if he were here, and I’m relieved he’s at day care playing and having fun rather than hanging out with a frazzled mama who needs to work and get sh*t done.
13) You think it’s kind of ridiculous that there are people out there who have enough spare time for stuff like this:I mean, who has time for stuff like showering, for that matter?
14) Your adorable-in-theory monthly photos have looked something like this for the past 5 months:Every month these attempts to get a decent shot resulted in stress and sweat on my part, before gingerly putting the tie sticker aside and telling myself I’d try again tonight. I never tried again. The tie went into the trash the following day.
15) You’ve literally pulled poop out of another human’s butt. In fact, poop is everything now. Did he poop? When did he poop? What consistency was it? What color? How can we change the poop? Does he smell like poop? Are you pooping? Is that poop? Aw, sh*t, I touched the poop.
This list could probably go on forever, so I’ll have to quit for now. I could put in the obligatory “You love more than you ever thought you could” at the end, but that feels awfully cliche.